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Recipes by Zola / Recipes

Spicy Steak Salad

Buy it by the Dozen? Not me.

They don’t call it Super Sweet for nothing. You’ll start seeing it at roadside stands all over the Midwest. The drought conditions have cut down on the bounty of it this year, and it might be a bit more expensive as a result, but it will still be there calling out to us to stop the car and get out and buy some. It’s corn on the cob.

The temptation is strong. Who can eat just one cob of corn? When you’re at that picnic it just seems natural to eat more than one. You might not be tempted to eat another hamburger but it’s just so easy to go take another cob of corn. It’s built into our culture.

In summers past I ate 2 and maybe even 3 cobs of corn at a dinner setting. My husband could easily eat three. We were going for the fiber content. We thought that was good for us. Corn has a lot of fiber. That’s true. It’s also high in magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin and vitamin C. There’s no cholesterol in corn and corn is low in saturated fat.

Now for the other side of the cob.

Eighty-two percent of the calories in a cob of corn come from carbohydrates. Corn is sweet. That’s why they can make cheap sweeteners from it. High fructose corn syrup is the biggest one. Corn is versatile. That’s why our country grows so much of it. You can make not only sweeteners but also oil, flour and even plastic.

More on the sweet.

In the US we grow the sweetest corn on the planet. For many that’s a source of pride. We have continued to adjust the genetics of the corn to feature the sweetness. We do like our sweets. In New Zealand, for example a cob of corn will score a 37 on the Glycemic Index. In the US it will score a 60. That’s a huge difference. Without going into a big explanation of the Glycemic Index let me just tell you that straight sugar scores 100. I try to stick to eating things that score less than 50. So corn coming in at 60 shows you how sweet it is. That’s why I don’t eat it often anymore. It’s the carbohydrate content that causes people to gain weight from eating corn. The body just can’t handle that level of sweetness on a regular basis. My husband and I used to have those little “cornfests” at dinner a few times a week while corn was in season. I was careful to make sure my dinner scored less than 600 calories but half of that was coming from the corn. Not good for me.

By the way, popcorn scores in at 89 on the Glycemic Index. That’s even closer to sugar. No wonder when you are at the movies you can’t stop eating it.

And here’s the another interesting kicker. Corn has been shown to be inflammatory. Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of cancer. Now I’m not saying corn is a carcinogen. But it has proven that corn raises your blood sugar VERY quickly and that’s where the inflammation stems from.

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